Veteran Service Group

The Veterans Services Group (VSG) at Finkelstein & Partners is a team of experienced and compassionate Veterans’ advocates and VA accredited attorneys who specialize in obtaining disability compensation benefits for Veterans and their families. VSG provides assistance with appealing decisions by the VA that negatively impact a Veteran’s benefits. Combat-related wounds, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and toxin/dioxin exposure (such as Agent Orange in Vietnam) are just a few examples of the types of cases the VSG handles. We represent Veterans in their disability compensation cases as well as eligible surviving spouses in their appeals for accrued and dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) benefits in all 50 states.

The mission of the Veterans Services Group is to serve the brave men and women who have risked their lives defending our freedom. We aim to competently represent Veterans with the same dedication they have shown in serving our country. Appealing a VA decision is often a long and cumbersome process that can be frustrating for even the most experienced Veterans. Going through an appeal with less than optimal health does not make it any easier. The VSG was created to provide guidance and support to Veterans throughout this difficult time.

While the VSG may not always be able to assist a Veteran directly on his or her claim, our website is intended to provide vital information, tools, contacts, and news in a centralized location to Veterans and Veterans’ advocates across the country. These resources are designed both to aid Veterans and their family members in obtaining the benefits they deserve, and to connect advocates, community members, and attorneys with opportunities for professional growth and development in this practice area.

There are over twenty different types of benefits that are available to Veterans and their family members. Although disability benefits are the most well known of the benefits programs offered, additional services range from helping Veterans receive educational & vocational training to assisting Veterans in obtaining various types of insurance and loans. It is also important to note that there are certain benefits only available to the Veteran, and others that are intended for the Veteran’s spouse and family.

We at VSG specialize in Disability Compensation Benefits and the complex appeals process that often follows. For more information on understanding the process associated with obtaining disability compensation benefits, please visit the Navigating the VA Claims Process section of our site. The following brief overview is meant to provide a concise foundational understanding of available benefits, and is not intended to be exhaustive. For your convenience, we have divided our overview into three main sections: Veterans Disability Benefits, Benefits for Family Members and Other Benefits. Additionally, we have created pages containing Key Concepts and Definitions as well as Common Abbreviations for your reference while using our site.

Disability Compensation Benefits

In order for a Veteran to receive Disability Compensation Benefits, the Veteran must have an injury or medical condition that was either caused or aggravated by his/her active duty service.

Disability compensation pays a monthly, tax-free allotment to eligible Veterans for disabilities that are service-connected. The amount of monthly compensation is not affected by the Veteran’s income or assets. It depends on how many service-connected disabilities a Veteran has and the severity of each.

Disability Pension Benefits

Like Disability Compensation Benefits, Disability Pension Benefits also require that a Veteran be disabled or injured by a medical condition in order to receive the benefits. However, unlike Disability Compensation Benefits, Disability Pension Benefits do not require that the injury or condition be related to the Veteran’s service.

Benefits for Family Members

There are a variety of VA benefits that are available to qualifying family members of both living and deceased Veterans. These include accrued benefits, dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC—formerly death compensation), death pension, and other benefits. Types of qualifying family members include spouses, dependent children, and parents.

Other Benefits

In addition to disability-related benefits, Veterans and eligible family members can take advantage of many other benefits. They include VA Healthcare, burial and memorial benefits, educational benefits, life insurance programs, and more.

Our Resources

Local Resources

The following are veterans’ resources in the New York and New Jersey areas that we hope may be helpful to you. The resources range from Veterans’ housing programs to local VA Medical Facilities. The information listed is for your information and does not constitute an endorsement by the Veterans’ Services Group.

National Resources

We, at the Veterans’ Services Group, want to provide you with as much information and as many resources as possible. Our hope is that if we are not able to assist you personally, you may use the information we provide to you here to address your needs. Below are veterans’ resources throughout the country that we hope may be helpful to you. The resources range from free legal clinics to VA Medical Facilities. The information listed is for your information and does not constitute an endorsement by the Veterans’ Services Group.

Veterans Benefits Abbreviations
  • A&A — Aid and Attendance
  • AAO — Assistant Adjudication Officer
  • AGG — Aggravated in Service
  • AO — Adjudication Officer or Agent Orange
  • AOJ — Agency of Original Jurisdiction
  • APA — Administrative Procedures Act
  • AR — Army Regulation
  • AWOL — Absence Without Official Leave
  • BCD — Bad Conduct Discharge
  • BCMR — Board for Correction of Military Records
  • BCNR — Board for Correction of Naval Records
  • BVA — Board of Veterans’ Appeals
  • C-file — Claims file
  • CAVC — U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims
  • CBD — Chief Benefits Director
  • C&C — Confirmed and Continued (Type of Rating Decision)
  • C.F.R. — Code of Federal Regulations
  • CMD — Chief Medical Director
  • COLA — Cost-of-Living Adjustment
  • Comp. — Compensation
  • C&P — Compensation and Pension
  • DC or DX — Diagnostic Code
  • DD — Dishonorable Discharge
  • DEA — Dependents’ Educational Assistance
  • DIC — Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
  • DOD — Department of Defense
  • DRB — Discharge Review Board
  • DSM IV — Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.)
  • DVA — Department of Veterans Affairs
  • EAD — Entry on Active Duty
  • EOD — Entry on Duty
  • ETS — Expiration of Term of Service
  • EVR — Eligibility Verification Report
  • FOIA — Freedom of Information Act
  • GAO — General Accounting Office
  • GC — General Counsel
  • GD — General Discharge
  • HB — Housebound
  • HD — Honorable Discharge
  • HO — Hearing Officer
  • IME — Independent Medical Expert
  • INC — Incurred in Service
  • IU — Individual Unemployability
  • IVAP — Income for VA Purposes
  • LOD — Line of Duty
  • MAPR — Maximum Annual Pension Rate
  • NA — National Archives
  • NOA — Notice of Appeal
  • NOD — Notice of Death or Notice of Disagreement
  • NPRC — National Personnel Records Center
  • NSC — Non Service-connected
  • NSLI — National Service Life Insurance
  • NSO — National Service Officer
  • NVLSP — National Veterans Legal Services Program
  • OGC — Office of the General Counsel (VA)
  • OMPF — Official Military Personnel File
  • OPC — Outpatient Clinic
  • Op. G.C. — Opinion of the General Counsel
  • OPT — Outpatient Treatment
  • Pen. — Pension
  • PL/P.L. — Public Law
  • POA — Power of Attorney
  • POW — Prisoner of War
  • PT — Permanent Total Disability
  • PTSD — Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • RAD — Release from Active Duty
  • RE code — Reenlistment Code
  • REPS — Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors
  • RI — Rating Increase
  • RPC — Records Processing Center (St.Louis)
  • SC — Service-connected
  • SDN — Separation Designation Number
  • SDRP — Special Discharge Review Program
  • SF — Standard Form
  • SMC — Special Monthly Compensation
  • SMIB — Supplementary Medical Insurance Benefit
  • SMP — Special Monthly Pension
  • SMR — Service Medical Record
  • SOC — Statement of the Case
  • SPCM — Special Court-Martial
  • SRD — Schedule for Rating Disabilities
  • SSA — Social Security Administration
  • SSDI — Social Security Disability Income
  • SSI — Supplemental Security Income
  • SSOC — Supplemental Statement of the Case
  • UCMJ — Uniform Code of Military justice
  • UD — Undesirable Discharge
  • UOTHC — (Discharge) Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
  • U.S.C.S. — United States Code Service
  • U.S.C.A. — United States Code Annotated
  • VA — Department of Veterans Affairs (also used for old Veterans Administration)
  • VACO — VA Central Office
  • VACOLS — Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System
  • VAMC — VA Medical Center
  • VAOPC — VA Outpatient Clinic
  • VAR — VA Regulation
  • VARO — VA Regional Office
  • VBA — Veterans Benefits Administration
  • VEAP — Veterans’ Education Assistance Program
  • VGLI — Veterans’ Group Life Insurance
  • VHA — Veterans’ Health Administration
  • VSO — Veterans’ Service Organization